How we did it – Class B foam rationalisation and distribution in Te Kei
As part of the rollout of the Fluorine-Free Foam Transition Project, we have been rationalising the location of our new Class B foam in line with the Flammable Liquids Incident Readiness and Response Strategy (the Strategy).
Here is Te Kei’s story of how they successfully applied the Strategy’s tiered approach and reduced the number of stations/brigades holding foam from 65 to 28.
Group Manager Deane Chalmers represents Te Kei at the Flammable Liquid Reference Group which has representatives from all our Regions and says being part of the Group has given him a good understanding of the Strategy and communicating its’ intent.
'The Strategy takes a risk-based approach to the use of Class B foam, so we are focusing this capability on the locations where the risk of an incident is highest - in the urban centres and on the main transport routes for bulk fuels. This means that, unlike in the past, not every station or brigade needs Class B foam.
'Where Class B foam is held, there needs to be a credible capability. There’s no point having foam assigned to a brigade that might not be able to put a full crew together to safely operate the Class B foam-making equipment. There’s also no point carrying just one drum of Class B foam on an appliance – that only gives you about three minutes of application.'
Deane said volunteers having face-to-face access to Paul Doughty, Senior Trainer, also helped clarify for them the reasons behind the rationalisation.
'Paul was able to explain the new Flammable Liquids Strategy, and how alternative tactics, such as Class A foam, can be used for the initial response on small fires and spills to facilitate rescues and prevent escalation. Not every station or brigade should be carrying Class B foam now.'
Remember – any PFAS-containing Class B foam and AFFF extinguishers can’t be used! Make space in your lockers and storage room by contacting your District Manager by mid-April to have these picked up by the Fluorine-Free Foam Transition project ahead of their ultimate disposal.